The Barak Democratic Front issued a Press Release on Friday to convey its protest against the "unusual price hikes" of the daily essential products amid the deteriorating situation of COVID-19 in the valley. "A class of unethical traders are taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation in the valley to raise the prices of all the daily necessities", accused the organisation.
In a meeting convened at the temporary office of the organisation, BDF Convener, Partha Das said, "We have witnessed a sharp hike in the prices of essential commodities like rice, pulses, flour, meal and oil." Das further said, "The price of Mustard oil in the valley is now around Rs. 200." Das explained, "The transportation facilities connecting this valley to other areas are operational as usual, and thus, there seems to be no reason for a price hike of the essential commodities in the locality." He accused that few unethical traders are voluntarily increasing the prices of commodities to earn greater profits.
"Every District Administration sets up the weekly prices of all the essential commodities, but they never monitor the implementation of the same", stated Das. He cites it as the primary reason for the unusual price hikes in Barak Valley.
Johar Taran, another convener of Barak Democratic Front says that the financial situation of people, especially the marginalized poor class of the society, has fallen down amid the COVID crisis. "How will the people, specifically those below the poverty line survive if the prices of the essential commodities keep on increasing?" asks Taran.
All the members of Barak Democratic Front have appealed to the respective administrations of the three districts of Barak Valley to initiate strict actions against the unethical price hikes. They suggest that the administrations should make arrangements of hanging the list of the government rates in all market areas. They further suggested that the administrations should issue two contact numbers for each district as complaint helplines.